LUMBLIJA – traditional sweet bread from Blato
"Lumblija" is a special sweet bread which originates from Blato, island Korčula. It has been prepared for nearly 200 years and the story about its origin began in the Napoleon Bonaparte times. Therefore, after Napoleon had conquered Dalmatia and annexed the Republic of Ragusa, french army was came on the island of Korčula, since the island itself was a part of the Republic.
And the story goes...a young French soldier – baker meets a beautiful young girl from Blato but their love was deemed a failure. When the soldier and his army left the island, he leaves the girl with a kind of a sweet bread saying to the her some beautiful goodbye words, together with the word "n'oublie pas "(don't forget me).The soldier left, the girl stayed in her hometown, but the sweet bread «lumblija» remained as a precious memory - and the way the heart-broken girl understood the pronounced word "n'oublie pas " was «lumblija», and that is how the story remained.
Even since, lumblija has been prepared with special ingriedients (almond, nuts, orange, lemon, «varenik», etc) and it is no coincidence that is prepared exactly at the beginning of November, when we think of all the beloved persons who are no longer with us. Doing so, the strong connection remains with its original meaning – the memory of our loved ones or the ones we miss the most for a variety of reasons.
Lumblija represents a strong connection between French and Croatian culture, and it is also a authentic gastro experience. It points out the story about traditional way of living on the island, it connects plant species and nature influence in an unique product and finally through a romatic love story narrates about historical moment and the life in the past as it once was on the island of Korčula.
Knights association Kumpanjija, which also takes care for the food folklore tradition, preserves the tradition on preparing «lumblija», which is why the members and the friends of the Association prepare «lumblija» together with other gastro delicacies for the traditional «Kućna zabava» (House Party) which takes place at the beginning of the February.
Every year in Blato at the end of October, in order to preserve not only this beautiful romantic story, but customs and tradition as well, there is organized exhibition, blessing and tasting of the «lumblija», prepared by pupils from Blato High School, their parents and teachers.
Every year at the beginning of November, you may enjoy spectacular «Dani lumblije» (Days of Lumblija). It is traditional lumblija exhibition, gastro competition and tasting. Program consists of several parts: contestants who make their own lumblija, each made according to family recipe, a panel of judges who decide on best lumblija, male or female vocal a-cappella singing («klape»), performances by pupils from Blato's Elementary and High School, and free lumblija tasting for all the visitors served by the charming female Kumpanjija dancers in their traditional costumes.
Thanks to its special ingridients, «lumblija» is a long-lasting bakery product which is getting better as it is older.
That is why you will give and prepare Lumblija to the ones you love, just like the soldier did when he gave «lumblija» to his beloved.